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Young Sheldon Season 8: Will It Ever Happen?

Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) has been telling tales about his East Texas childhood since "The Big Bang Theory," and "Young Sheldon" has been bringing many of those tales to life while connecting the dots to this beloved theoretical physicist's adulthood. The series had made revisiting "The Big Bang Theory" a completely new, rich, rewarding experience. Fans have learned the origins of the iconic knock, where "Bazinga" originates from, and that Sheldon (Iain Armitage) has always had a favorite spot in the living room, no matter where he calls home. They've also witnessed the imminent yet sudden death of his father, George (Lance Barber). And in the final season, the young genius prepares to study at Caltech, a moment that concludes the series.

But its Season 7 conclusion is apparently not due to low viewership. Nielsen ratings, via Variety, show that "Young Sheldon" has been the No. 1 comedy for five consecutive seasons, with its reign beginning in the 2019-2020 television season. And the series went out with a big bang as well with Season 7, Episode 13, "Funeral" averaging 8.8 million viewers. The series finale, Season 7, Episode 14, "Memoir," aired right after Episode 13, besting the tear-jerking episode with 8.95 million viewers.

So why would such a successful show decide to call it quits? Especially when Sheldon is just starting his journey at Caltech. There is clearly plenty of story left to tell before "The Big Bang Theory" begins, and viewer interest seems to not be waning anytime soon. Here's what could be explored and why "The Big Bang Theory" universe is taking a break from "Young Sheldon."

Why isn't Young Sheldon Season 8 happening yet?

Focus has turned toward the spin-off "Georgie & Mandy's First Marriage," which finds the Georgie (Montana Jordan) and Mandy (Emily Osment) navigating married life and parenthood as Georgie grieves his dad. As an older Georgie (Jerry O'Connell) mentions on "The Big Bang Theory," Season 11, Episode 23, "The Sibling Realignment," Sheldon wasn't really around after heading out west for school. So an appearance by Iain Armitage is unlikely, but executive producer Steve Holland told The Wrap that fans can look out for other Cooper family members. "We love these actors and we love these characters, and they're certainly a part [of] Georgie and Mandy's life, so it's our hope that this is a spot where they can pop up from time to time and we can still tell their stories." Viewers can also expect two key "Young Sheldon" characters to return. Mandy's parents Jim (Will Sasso) and Audrey McAllister (Rachel Bay Jones) will be popping up, helping their daughter's young family navigate life.

The series begins in 1994 with Georgie trying to take care of everyone, just as he promised his father. However, Holland is careful to point out that this show will have its own identity, beginning with how it is filmed. He told TVLine, "It's important for us that it create its own identity and it isn't just 'Young Sheldon' Season 8 — part of the move to multi-cam is for it to have its own identity — but at the same time, these people are family."

What executive producer Steve Holland has said about Young Sheldon Season 8

Closure and paying attention to the grand timeline appear to be big points of consideration for Executive Producer Steve Holland when it came to saying goodbye to "Young Sheldon" after seven seasons of laughs and family lessons. According to Deadline, he told reporters on the Warner Bros. lot that Sheldon's Caltech send-off felt like the right place to end this part of the story. "We started talking about the future of the show and what it looked like. This is the right time for this story to come to an end, know that at 14, he goes off to Caltech. It felt like the right time to end it strong while it was on top."

As fans know, the end is really just the beginning for Sheldon as Caltech sets him up for the adult portion of his life, which would later include loyal friends, a loving wife, and a Nobel Prize. Co-creator Steven Molaro told The New York Times that the visual aging of the character would have made further seasons difficult and could have taken away from its original core storyline. "The premise of the show is that an exceptional young kid is thrust into a world where everyone is older than him. But as soon as Iain aged and Sheldon aged, he didn't look that out of place anymore, even in college."

What could be explored in Young Sheldon Season 8?

Learning and meeting every challenge that comes his way. That's Sheldon's formula for making his dreams come true, and this same formula could propel "Young Sheldon" through a potential eighth season. While Sheldon has been a college student for quite some time, moving away and starting at a new school will come with its own challenges. Before starting the academic year, Sheldon had already visited Caltech with his dad. The series ended with Sheldon processing the last few moments he had with George, wondering if he could have done anything differently. This could continue into a potential Season 8, especially since Sheldon expected both George and Mary (Zoe Perry) to be supporting his scholarly achievements.

A new season could have also set the groundwork for a crossover episode with "Georgie & Mandy's First Marriage" — or vice versa, as a crossover episode of that show could test the waters for a potential "Young Sheldon" return. Despite Sheldon being largely absent from the family during his Caltech days, there is the possibility that a Cooper could pop up in his dorm. A crossover such as this could give Mary the opportunity to check in on his wellbeing.

It's also important to note that, for Sheldon, Caltech is much more than a space to learn. It later becomes his workplace, which is a transition that could be explored, introducing new characters like professors who helped Sheldon grow his knowledge while leading him to his career at the esteemed college.

Who would star in Young Sheldon Season 8?

While Season 8 could find Iain Armitage reprising his role, there would be a point where Sheldon Cooper would have to switch hands, and it was a potential moment that Steve Holland didn't seem too keen about. He told Deadline, "You also get into this weird thing where somehow, he would have to morph into Jim Parsons. But we at least know we're sending him off on that hopeful note."

There is also the possibility that Season 8 would not include Raegan Revord's version of Missy. When talking about a possible appearance on "Georgie & Mandy's First Marriage," the actress told Entertainment Tonight, "I love playing Missy for the past seven years, but I also want to go on and do other things as well." While another actor could step into the role, especially as Missy ages, fans know that it would not be the same without Revord.

As for Meemaw, Annie Potts could possibly return to her character, especially after receiving the shocking news that "Young Sheldon" was saying goodbye for good. According to Assignment X, which attended a Television Critics Association press tour, Potts said, "It's sad, because I didn't expect it. We're the number one show on network TV, and the No. 1 show on Netflix. Who cancels this?" Amid "Young Sheldon," Potts has continued to appear in new "Ghostbusters" installments, which could make scheduling interesting if she were to continue operating in both fandoms at the same time.

Young Sheldon Season 8 could include what happens after the end of The Big Bang Theory

"The Big Bang Theory" wasn't always supposed to end with Season 12. The real reason why "The Big Bang Theory" ended involved Jim Parsons reportedly turning down the offer to play Sheldon for two more seasons. The series managed to create a satisfying ending despite the news, but this could mean that there are still plenty of ideas for the writers to explore. This could lead to a back-and-forth storyline during "Young Sheldon" Season 8, where Parsons' version of the character takes a trip down memory lane with Iain Armitage's Sheldon as Parsons tries to solve a current problem.

Sheldon and Amy's (Mayim Bialik) children have already been introduced off-screen, and Season 8 could introduce fans to on-screen versions of their son and daughter. While Parsons' voice has been heard during each episode of "Young Sheldon," Season 7 is the first time that fans have seen him as the character on camera since "The Big Bang Theory." Parsons told People that he enjoyed being on set, calling the moment a "second closure." While his reappearance as Sheldon could suggest that he could be up for reprising the role on a regular basis once again, his interview with E! News suggests otherwise. When discussing the possibility of a sequel series, he said, "Look, never say never to anything. Life is long, God willing. But I don't think so."

Young Sheldon Season 8 could focus on his future friends

Sheldon's arrival at Caltech means a world of new possibilities and a world of new friendships that become the nucleus of "The Big Bang Theory" universe. Alas, no familiar characters were spotted upon that final scene in Season 7, Episode 14, "Memoir." Including young adult versions of Raj, Howard, Leonard, Penny, Amy, and Bernadette in "Young Sheldon" Season 8 would be a smart decision because it could lead to plenty of fresh stories. Plus, adding a new cast of characters could make up for current "Young Sheldon" mainstays that will never make it out to California due to their storylines in East Texas, like Georgie.

While bringing these characters into the fold could potentially enter the show into the dodgy inevitable Ian Armitage-to-Jim Parsons switchover, the possibility of seeing the rest of "The Big Bang Theory" gang should not be ruled out. "Young Sheldon," Season 2, Episode 22, "A Swedish Science Thing and the Equation for Toast," does introduce very young versions of Leonard (Isaac Harger), Raj (Rishabh Prabhat), Howard (Ethan Reed Stern), Bernadette (AJ Coggeshall), Amy (Lily Sanfelippo), and Penny (Quinn Aune). So revisiting these characters at younger stages is a total possibility, and their addition could help connect the dots to even more key moments from "The Big Bang Theory," strengthening the universe's canon.

Young Sheldon Season 8 could focus on the romantic relationships that Sheldon never mentioned

Viewers were glued to the screen amid the possible romantic storyline that emerged between Sheldon and fellow genius Paige Swanson (Mckenna Grace). His potential love interest and academic competitor first appears during Season 2, Episode 2, "A Rival Prodigy and Sir Isaac Neutron." Sheldon realizes that he may have a crush on her on Season 4, Episode 16, "A Second Prodigy and the Hottest Tips for Pouty Lips," but it quickly ends after Paige tricks him so that she can draw a mustache on his face. Before Paige, he had briefly developed a crush on fellow high school student Libby (Anjelika Washington) on Season 1, Episode 15, "Dolomite, Apple Slices, and a Mystery Woman," but that was quickly squashed upon Sheldon hearing that Libby sees him as a child.

On "The Big Bang Theory," love doesn't bloom for Sheldon until he meets neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler during Season 3, Episode 23, "The Lunar Excitation." With Sheldon moving to new a state in "Young Sheldon" Season 7, there is a chance that he may have had a few crushes before finding his one true love. Season 8 could expand on this by giving Sheldon a classmate whom he becomes fond of. Paige disappeared from the show after Season 6, but maybe she could reappear in a potential Season 8, realizing that her years spent teasing Sheldon were really just the basis for a crush that she realizes she now has.

There is the potential for more Meemaw and Sheldon time

The love that Meemaw has for her Moon Pie knows no bounds or mileage. Because of this, Season 8 could include a bigger focus on Sheldon and Meemaw's relationship. Sheldon always knows that he can count on her to be there for the ups and downs of life. She is also not afraid to give him the tough love that he needs from time to time. As Mary continues to grieve George, Meemaw may become Sheldon's main line of advice, especially if he is worried about upsetting his mom when she has already been through so much. This could result in plenty of phone calls between the two, with Meemaw possibly updating him on everything that is happening in East Texas, even giving the show another way to bridge the gap between "Young Sheldon" Season 8 and "Georgie & Mandy's First Marriage."

An older version of Meemaw, played by June Squibb, makes an appearance on "The Big Bang Theory," Season 9, Episode 14, "The Meemaw Materialization," proving that she is not afraid to leave the comforts of East Texas. That means that Meemaw could zip by Caltech, maybe even with Dale (Craig T. Nelson), in order to check in on Sheldon and maybe host an illegal gambling night, which could be a call back to her days of hiding a gambling establishment inside a laundry mat.

Young Sheldon Season 8 could include some friends from East Texas Tech

Job changes are normal, especially in the world of academia. So it would only be natural if Sheldon were to reunite with one of his former professors from East Texas Tech. President Linda Hagemeyer (Wendie Malick) did everything she could to keep Sheldon in East Texas, even offering a scholarship for Georgie and Mandy's daughter CeCe in Season 7, Episode 9, "A Fancy Article and a Scholarship for a Baby." Given the lengths that she goes to stop Sheldon from leaving, it is safe to say that President Hagemeyer is very loyal to East Texas Tech, but that could always change if Caltech were to offer her the right job title and a big pay increase.

Dr. Sturgis (Wallace Shawn) could make an appearance as well. He has pursued different projects from time to time, so a professorship at Caltech is totally possible, even if it were just a visiting professorship. He has become a mentor for Sheldon, meaning that an appearance by him could be just what Sheldon needs if he finds himself doubting his abilities. Shawn told Vulture in 2019 that he's never had a TV role that has lasted as long as his character on "Young Sheldon." "I don't know how it's happened, but it's been very good fortune for me," he said. That success could be all the more reason for Shawn to return for Season 8.

Missy could appear at Caltech

Running away is a familiar storyline for Sheldon's twin sister Missy, and it could always happen again in Season 8. During Season 5, Episode 1, "One Bad Night and Chaos of Selfish Desires," he joins Missy as she trades in the Cooper family home for a nearby old shed. Season 6, Episode 16, "A Stolen Truck and Going on the Lam," finds Missy hitting the road with Paige, and the road trip is short lived as they are caught by authorities and reunited with their families.

As she grieves her father, Missy could be looking for an opportunity to skip town once again. This could send her in Sheldon's direction, since California is a good distance from Texas. While she may find him annoying, Missy knows that she can count on her brother, which could be another reason for an impromptu visit. This could also help Sheldon process his own feelings about this new chapter in his family's life and even lead to him questioning whether or not he should head back home.

Creating more spin-offs could be a smart plan for The Big Bang Theory Universe

The runaway success of "Young Sheldon" followed that of "The Big Bang Theory," and "Georgie & Mandy's First Marriage" could follow suit. Because of the continuous pivoting between spin-offs, it is clear that the minds behind "The Big Bang Theory" universe feel that this is the best strategy for the franchise. This could mean other Cooper-centered spin-offs, like a show solely focused on Mary as she tries to figure out what life looks like without George. There could also be room for flashbacks showing how Mary and George first met, which could be interesting as Mary was known to be a bit of a wild child in her youth. Plus, venturing into Mary's past has been of interest to Zoe Perry as well. 

There is also the potential for Missy to star in her own series, possibly focusing on connecting the rest of the dots that lead to Courtney Henggeler's version of the character on "The Big Bang Theory." No matter what happens next to the Coopers, Steve Holland has told Deadline that being excited about the project has been their goal when it comes to creating stories for "The Big Bang Theory" universe. "I have no idea how audiences are going to respond [to 'Georgie & Mandy's First Marriage']," he said, "but I know we are excited about it, and that's been a good sort of guiding light for us throughout all this is, to try to do things we're excited about and hope an audience follows you along."